questions concerning measurements, experiments, and activities that demonstrate physics and are safe to do at home, require at most one tool or ingredient not readily available, and can be interpreted or analyzed on one sheet of paper with accessible math.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

10
votes
1answer
610 views

How can I explain or demonstrate the Lorentz Force to a 12 year old?

I'm a space physicist. I've been working with a group of school students (aged between around 10 and 12) exploring the Sun, the Earth and the solar system. We've talked about some basics of magnetism ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

About an upside down cup of water against atmosphere pressure

There is an experiment we learned from high school that demonstrated how atmosphere pressure worked. Fill a cup of water and put a cardboard on top of it, then turn it upside-down, the water will not ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Does the termination point(level) influence water flow from a pipe

I get water to my home from a nearby Tank A at a certain height above ground level. I have a 1" pipe through which I get this water to my home.. I leave this water into my well by connecting a 1" tube ...
6
votes
1answer
838 views

How to calculate air velocity in a fan?

How to calculate air velocity in a fan and what data should I know ? So if I have a fan motor, fan blade and a battery, what data should I get from these items ? I think I will need to know the ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

What's the simplest method for accurately measuring the speed of light? [duplicate]

With common household objects in hand, and, say a budget of $20, what's the simplest experiment for accurately measuring the speed of light?
2
votes
1answer
364 views

Hooke's law doesn't work well with my spring?

I'm trying to make an application for Hooke's law using a spring, but the law doesn't give any correct result with my spring, because when I hang a $100\,\mathrm{g}$ object on the spring it's ...
0
votes
1answer
276 views

How to heat swimming pool with physics principles [closed]

I'd like to apply physics principles to a home-experiment relating to my swimming pool. The water should flow inner to 100 meters of black pipe and so it should become warm. Then it should return in ...
4
votes
2answers
896 views

Energy transfer in a coupled pendulum

If you take a look at this video you will see what kind of a coupled pendulum I'm talking about. So I made a similar one in my high school's physics lab, using light metal bobs(much lighter than the ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does a cork float to the side of a glass?

What is this physical phenomenon and when it's happen ? Please take a look at this picture: Link to picture Notice: This is a cork ball attracted to sides of a glass of water
84
votes
24answers
10k views

How can you weigh your own head in an accurate way?

I read some methods but they're not accurate. They use the Archimedes principle and they assume uniform body density which of course is far from true. Others are silly like this one: Take a knife ...
-4
votes
1answer
257 views

home made atom destruction unit [closed]

Today we learnt at school that atoms can be destructed. I believe Physics is a great science to do experiment and I would like to try it at home. Could you tell me what I need to do it? and is it ...
1
vote
3answers
513 views

Beads in 'perpetual motion'?

This page has an interesting video of beads 'syphoning' out of a glass beaker: http://blog.zennioptical.com/weekly-optical-illusion-crazy-beads/ The host has a few explanations for the effect, but ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

Floating a ping pong ball in the air just using a pen!

Caution: Apparently this problem is harder than it seems! There is a well known phenomena, which I first learnt about when I was a 10 years old kid. You can levitate a ping pong(or whatever ...
0
votes
1answer
213 views

Magnetic field, alternated current and EMF

If I apply an alternated current to a solenoid and insert into it a smaller solenoid, I could measure the induced EMF (electromotive force) and study how it changes in relation to the frequency of ...
-4
votes
3answers
238 views

Can you lift a basket up while standing inside it? [closed]

Suppose you stand in a basket and you try to pull the handles of the basket. Will you be able to lift the basket from ground? Similarly, Baron Münchhausen allegedly pulled himself and the horse on ...
10
votes
3answers
830 views

Best way to chill a cup of coffee with cold water and 5 minutes [duplicate]

Initial data 1 x 3/4 full cup of hot coffee / tea / your favorite morning beverage cold water 5 minutes Considering that it's starting to get hot outside, and we all want to drink reasonably cold ...
11
votes
2answers
490 views

The secret behind the spinning, asymmetrically weighted, 2D disk-shaped top?

When you spin an asymmetrically weighted, 2D disk-shaped top, the heavy part actually rises to the top. Why is this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0SZZTBQmEs ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Creating a stream of single file atoms

How do you go about creating a stream of single file atoms? The aim is to fire a stream of single file atoms (hydrogen, helium) down a vacuum and detect there arrival on the opposite end. Any ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Would the empirical behavior of a simple circuit match my model of it?

I have a practical problem in E&M which has baffled me and and my electrician. The copper water pipes in my house are carrying a current of small potential (~1V) AC current. Here is my ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How to homegrow large, momocrystalline water ice crystals

This is a follow up to this question:Can one get clear ice crystals from a dirty suspension?. How could one grow a large - meaning visible with the naked eye - water ice crstal with common household ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

How do you build a nuclear reactor in your garage?

When I came across this link earlier today, I was astounded. Nuclear reactors are immensely complex devices that took scientists years to develop, and are usually housed in huge facilities. The link ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Atmospheric pressure experiment using a cup with a fluid to hold a glass plate

When I was in high school, my teacher did an experiment to show the power of atmospheric pressure. Experiment: Prepare a glass bottle, fill with water, put a glass plate on the bottle, make sure ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

Easy to do experiments that clearly show outstanding properties of graphene

By chance we received for free some monolayer graphene sheets (20 cm x 20 cm) and mixed coper-graphene wires at our University. I would like to prepare some very easy to do experiments for the ...
5
votes
1answer
389 views

Physics of every-day life: rotating bag of tea

Whilst studying for my physics courses, I like to drink tea. Today, I noticed that if you pull a bag of tea out of a hot cup of water, it gradually starts to rotate, picking up speed as time ...
1
vote
0answers
214 views

Easy question about magnetism?

I have to build a simple electric motor by attaching a magnet to a battery, extending the terminals of the battery (with stiff wires so they could act as supports), and placing a coil of wire on top ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it viable or possible to make your own transistor?

Just wondering if it is possible/viable to construct your own transistor, not small like todays, but the same scale as the one created at Bell Labs.
2
votes
0answers
119 views

Calculate how hot PLA will become

I am trying to attach the shaft of a brass heating tip to a PLA component. My problem is that the tip will have to reach a temperature of about 200°C and the PLA can only handle a temperature of about ...
25
votes
6answers
8k views

How do whisky stones keep your drink cold?

From a discussion in the DMZ (security stack exchange's chat room - a place where food and drink are important topics) we began to question the difference between how ice and whisky stones work to ...
7
votes
2answers
191 views

Must a vertical sundial face exactly South?

I am a sundial. I'm prepared to bet Your watch can't tell when the sun will set I once heard Frank King talk about sundials in particular this very cool one, which measures Babylonian hours ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

Michelson–Morley @ Home

The Michelson-Morley experiment seems to have taken many years, resources and a nervous breakdown to complete. Is it possible to recreate a variation of this experiment at home for say, under $1000, ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

A good theoretical approximation for a magnetically damped pendulum

In a laboratory course we had to perform an experiment with a pendulum (just an iron weight on a wire) and play around for some time with its wire's length and so on. This was quite boring and we ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

How to create visible reflections in shallow water?

Assumption: The only lights I have are candle, table lamp, and sunlight. What would I need to create visible reflection of an object in the shallow water contained in a 5 liter bucket? Is it even ...
3
votes
2answers
679 views

How does this trick with mirrors work?

Imagine two mirrors, set touching each other at right angles to one another. There is a 90 degree arc in which reflections can be seen, and a person standing in that arc can see himself reflected in ...
5
votes
1answer
424 views

Whistling on bottle tops

It is well known that if you blow horizontally on a bottle top it creates a sound. Pouring water to the bottle changes the pitch. I have been doing experiments on the relation between the sound's ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

Why do CD's shatter in a microwave?

Why have I heard that eggs and CD's and DVD's explode when microwaved?
6
votes
3answers
310 views

How can I determine the coefficient $k$ in $ \dfrac{dT}{dt} = -k(T - 100 \mathrm{^\circ C}) $?

I recently spend some time on cooking and I'm curious about the time evolution of the temperature of the water. I did some experiment and the temperature is of the form $$ T = 100 \mathrm{^\circ C} + ...
9
votes
3answers
749 views

How hot is the water in the pot?

Question: How hot is the water in the pot? More precisely speaking, how can I get a temperature of the water as a function of time a priori? Background & My attempt: Recently I started spend ...
1
vote
1answer
766 views

Demonstrating Quantum effects with home experiments using green diode laser [closed]

I would like to preform home experiments to demonstrate quantum effects to my kids. I need a list of experiments on Laser photons that could be easily conducted at home to demonstrate quantum ...
4
votes
1answer
334 views

Accelerating onto and over inclined plane

Consider an RC car going off a jump. What angle is optimal to achieve the greatest distance? The height of each jump is the same. The angle of the jump and the related length of the jump changes. ...
0
votes
1answer
789 views

Experiment to measure initial speed of high speed tennis ball?

I want to devise a way to measure the initial speed of a tennis ball fired from a tennis ball cannon, but without using any speed-measuring devices. Just plan distance-measuring and physics formulas. ...
3
votes
6answers
11k views

Parallel circuits - Overall resistance decreases with additional resistor [closed]

Let's say that there is a parallel circuit with two identical resistors in parallel with each other. If a third resistor, identical to the other two, is added in parallel with the first two, the ...
5
votes
1answer
345 views

Practical method to weigh human limbs with common household items?

What methods could be used to determine (or estimate within a reasonable margin of error) the mass of a living human's limbs, short of cutting them off? And more interestingly, how can this be done ...
1
vote
3answers
153 views

How to design an experiment that shows that a rectangular pulse can be expressed as a series of infinite sinusoids?

Is it possible to design a physical experiment that shows that a time limited signal, such as a rectangular pulse is composed of infinite continuous sine/cosine waves?
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Is it possible to reproduce Double-slit experiment by myself at home?

I want to reproduce this experiment by myself. What I need for this. What parameters of slits and laser/another light source it needs? Is it possible to make DIY-detector?
1
vote
1answer
481 views

Force exerted on a cone

This is probably a pretty elemental question, but I can't figure out what the concept is called or how to calculate it. Say you have a solid cone shaped piece of ice, you hold it in your hand and ...
6
votes
2answers
316 views

Is it cheaper to boil water on high gas heat or low gas heat?

Assume my time value is \$0. High gas heat adds more energy per second to the water but the pot may absorb the heat less efficiently, or maybe the shape of the flame is less good, or for other reasons ...
3
votes
2answers
248 views

Do I need to have an airtight container to siphon boiling water?

I'm attempting to siphon boiling water into another container for a school project. I have researched the physics of a siphon but I can't seem to make my boiling water siphon out of its initial pot. ...
4
votes
3answers
444 views

Room temperature and fan orientation [duplicate]

So I'm in a tiny dorm room and I normally point my fan blowing outside the window to cool my room off. I've been in some debates on blowing air out or in is more effective, so I'm hoping to get some ...
3
votes
1answer
403 views

Revealing Electric field lines through Grass seeds in mineral oil

In one of Walter Lewin's famous lectures, he takes a small container almost completely filled with mineral oil and grass seeds (I'll keep looking for the video to link to it). He connects two ...
0
votes
0answers
464 views

How much pressure is needed to break an egg if applied from top and bottom?

Everybody knows that you can't break an egg with our fingers when pushing from top and bottom. I assume if we could squeeze hard enough the egg would break?